minky starshine
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minky starshine

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Phoenix Newspaper"

Dashing down the corridors of the hallowed power pop pantheon — whose building blocks include Big Star, Badfinger, the Raspberries and, later the Fastbacks, Matthew Sweet, and our own Velvet Crush — comes Minky Starshine and the New Cardinals, Providence’s latest, and perhaps most intermittent, aspiring hitmaker. Minky, aka Rob Anastasi, has been gone for many a moon, but he did manage to assemble a crack crew for the new record, Hooray for L.A., recruiting people like Kraig Jordan (of the Masons, for preproduction), drummer Paul Myers, and bassist Chris Cugini (the rhythm section of Blizzard of ’78), and keys man Phil Aiken, along with a handful of other talent-abundant locals. “This whole experience has been really great and we want to showcase it, seeing that I don’t play shows that often,” says Anastasi. “I also want people to go out and feel like they can have some fun with music again.”
The record was produced by Ken Stringfellow of the Posies, another critical power pop cornerstone, and recorded over the summer. Anastasi petitioned Stringfellow, who’s still doing Big Star gigs with Alex Chilton and various other production jobs, through Ken’s Website. “He sent me some demos,” said Stringfellow in an e-mail, “and said he was looking for some production help and we corresponded for awhile. He sent me mp3s of his rehearsals so I could do preproduction work from afar. So when we got together to record it went really quickly.”

Hooray for L.A. is a gas. Working within the classic power pop tradition, Minky serves up ’70s-injected, sugar-sweetened musical magic with delightfully faux sincerity, vintage instrumentation, and robust vocal harmonies. “Rescue Me” feels like an outtake from the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo (OK, so maybe the Jayhawks is more like it.). “Smile,” with Stringfellow on backing vocals, is an elaborate, thoughtful chestnut, weighted with harmonic details that echo Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s own Smile. “Heaviest Heart” suggests the soaring work of Freedy Johnston.

A particularly poignant aspect of Hooray for L.A. is Anastasi’s purposefully positive focus. When the songs aren’t about the frolics of love and desire, they’re about coping with the loss of those things. There are 16 songs, most of which hail from the Posies school of über-craftsmanship, which gives Stringfellow’s presence particularly strong resonance. “The musicians he had (Paul and Chris from Blizzard of ’78, etc.) were superb,” writes Stringfellow. “I think the songs turned out really well and I enjoyed working on them a lot.” - Bob Gulla

"New England Performer"

While most bands resist easy classification these days, Provdence's Minky Starshine and the New Cardinals deliver unadulterated, good ol' American power-pop on Hooray for L.A. Replete with saccharine harmonies, glossy guitars, and plenty of "Ooh ooh ooh ooh" choruses, Minky & Co. play it unabashedly straight through a whopping 15 powdery tracks. Occasionally, the band dips into balladry ("I Want You," "Highway Superstar"), and they adorn a few songs with rootsy trimmings like lap-steel and dobro (well-played, it should be noted, by Adam Ollendorff), but mostly the band maintains a vise-grip on buoyant, mid-tempo, traditional pop-rock. It's a throwback to '80s rock radio that straddles the line between homage and send-up, but it's rendered with enough conviction and skill to be worth a listen for anyone looking for a dose of straightforward pop-rock.
From its frontman's silly stage name to its dedication to such a G-rated genre, it's tough at first to pinpoint this group's true intentions. Is Minky Starshine (real name Rob Anastasi) sincerely looking to be a part of a power-pop underground, or is he just having fun with a kitschy, pseudo-serious style? The sheer length and relative consistency of Hooray for L.A lean towards the former, and the record's highlights, "Rescue Me" and "Smile," seem to confirm it. Buoyed by strong hooks and tasty background vocals, these are skillfully delivered rock confections that suggest that Minky & Co. have a serious knack for this inherently unserious, yet fun genre. - Al Moore


"Hooray for L.A." (CD)
Can be streamed at our website
or www.myspace.com/minkystarshine


Feeling a bit camera shy


Minky Starshine and the New Cardinals hover just above the sweetest sounds of the pop-rock soundscape. Make no mistake, this band is much more than four pretty faces who write sugar pop melodies mixed with the 70's-inspired, am radio rock they grew up on. Minky (vocals and guitar), Kurt Friel (bass and vocals), Michael Moore (guitar and vocals) and Mansour Bethoney (drums) fit together like pieces of an old puzzle, delivering emotionally charged thrills with every living moment.
Shooting heart-shaped arrows straight from their hips into the hearts of their audiences, their majestic pop anthems will become the soundtrack to your lovelives.